Monday, March 31, 2014

Viewing Cherry (Sakura) Blossoms Along The Meguro River by Nakameguro Station

I've never been to Tokyo in the spring so I've missed out on the hanami (cherry blossom viewing) ritual that families and companies do.  People show up early to reserve spots in parks to picnic and enjoy the mass flowering of cherry blossoms.  One of the places that I would like to view the sakura is along the Meguro River in Tokyo.  This river is cement lined on both sides now and resembles a canal with its vertical banks, but the photos that I have seen make it look so awesome.
Sakura Tree Ad at Ueno Station
The lovely, yet mildly scented cherry blossom.  By Jacob Ehnmark CC attribution license.
Meguro Canal at night with cherry blossoms.  By kazamatsuri CC attribution license.
Meguro Canal with illuminated sakura trees. By yoppy CC attribution license.

I've seen varying accounts of the number of sakura trees here from 500 to 800, but it looks really dense and beautiful in the best photos.  The trees are also lit up at night to provide a photographer's dream opportunity or a very romantic evening.  I don't have any pictures myself so this is primarily and informational post based on research I did for myself, but one year in the spring I will visit.  I can only imagine how amazing and pretty it would be if you arrived late in the season and a bit o wind kicked in to make it snow cherry blossom leaves!  This is also a classic meme from Japanese anime as the sakura are always flowering it seems.

Pretty especially when you are surrounded by falling petals.

The best viewing spots seem to be NW of the Nakameguro train station towards the Kitano Shrine.  Nakameguro is only a few stops away from Shibuya Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line. Exiting the station to walk along the canal banks and cutting across the many bridges to find the best view seem to be the game of the day.  There are both wide and narrow sections to the canal with the narrow sections being quite spectacular.  From April 1 to April 10 they also hold the Nakemeguro Sakura Festival in the area and light up the trees for that.  Cherry blossom viewing dates vary from year to year based on the weather and you maybe too early or too late, so check the web for best viewing times.

More shots of what the canal looks like in full bloom, check out the links below.

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